Grad students’ bike share plan earns national planning honors

Teresa Qu

A report by graduate urban planning students at Texas A&M that helped establish a university bike sharing program was honored with an award in a nationwide contest sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Planners.

“The AICP Student Project Awards recognizes outstanding class projects by students in planning programs,” said Jordan Yin, an AICP member who directs undergraduate studies in urban affairs at Cleveland State University. “I am pleased to recognize the outstanding efforts of all of the other nominees in a highly competitive year where more than 20 planning programs submitted nominations.”

In addition to gauging student, faculty and staff interest in a bike sharing program, students, who developed the plan in a fall 2012 transportation system analysis class taught by Teresa Qu, an urban planning lecturer at Texas A&M, recommended locations for bike share stations and the number of bicycles needed for the program, which facilitates short-term bicycle loans for minimal or no cost.

“The project was the first phase of a multiphase bike share study,” said Ron Steedly, Transportation Services’ alternative transportation manager, who worked with the students throughout the semester. “With the results of their work, we decided to move to phase two.”

The AICP will present awards for the Texas A&M plan as well as plans by students at Tufts University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Ball State University at the April 26-30 American Planning Association national conference in Atlanta.

The Texas A&M students’ report also earned the 2013 Dr. Kent Butler Student Project Award from the Central Texas chapter of the American Planning Association.

posted March 6, 2014